Al Gore’s Film Sequel Needs To Address Several Inconvenient Facts

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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Former Vice President Al Gore will debut a sequel to his global warming film at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival about 10 years after “An Inconvenient Truth” hit theaters.

“Now more than ever we must rededicate ourselves to solving the climate crisis,” Gore said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “But we have reason to be hopeful; the solutions to the crisis are at hand,” Gore said. “I’m deeply honored and grateful that Paramount Pictures and Participant Media have once again taken on the task of bringing the critical story of the climate crisis to the world.”

Gore will have to address several “inconvenient truths” that cast into doubt the credibility of his first film.

The Daily Caller News Foundation highlighted some of the failed predictions Gore made in his 2006 film, which argued the weight of scientific evidence shows global warming would be catastrophic if the world did not stop using fossil fuels.

Here are some additional “inconvenient truths” Gore will have to explain in his new film (though we doubt he will):

Why Are The Climate Models Wrong?

When Gore’s film debuted in 2006, there was a confidence about climate science that only bolstered the dire climate model projections of future temperature rises. Gore’s film came out in the middle of what’s been called the global warming “hiatus” or “slowdown” — a 15 to 20-year period with little to no statistically significant increase in global average temperature.

It’s during this time we saw a huge divergence between what climate models predicted and actual temperature observations. That’s true for satellite-derived temperatures and surface-based readings.

Climate models show 2.5 times more warming in the bulk atmosphere than has been actually observed in the satellite record, according to Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer run one of the major satellite-derived temperature datasets. What they’ve found is there’s been a slight warming trend in the 38-year satellite record.

Surface temperature data collected from weather stations, buoys and ships may have an even bigger problem. Climate models have been over-estimating warming for the past six decades, according to Cato Institute scientists Patrick Michaels and Chip Knappenberger.

Michaels and Knappenberger found observed global surface temperature warming rates since 1950 have been on the lower end of the mean of what 108 climate models used by government climate scientists predicted it to be.

Where’s The Extreme Weather?

Gore’s 2006 film claimed storms would become more frequent and intense as man-made emissions warmed the oceans.

“And of course when the oceans get warmer, that causes stronger storms,” Gore said. “That same year that we had that string of big hurricanes, we also set an all-time record for tornadoes.”

The film came out just after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, and it’s true the U.S. was hit with a rash of severe storms in the early 2000s, as were other countries, like Japan. Storms haven’t been more extreme since 2006 — in fact, storms, droughts, wildfires and other events haven’t become more severe or frequent in the last century.

The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said as much in its 2013 synthesis report. They said there “is limited evidence of changes in extremes associated with other climate variables since the mid-20th century.”

The IPCC also found “no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century” and “[n]o robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin.”

Gore shared the Nobel Prize in 2007 with the IPCC for its work on global warming, so it’d be surprising if he didn’t heed their findings.

Gore’s claim was based on insurance industry findings in 2007 that disaster costs were rising because of global warming. It turned out not to be true, and was only included in the IPCC’s 2007 report because the study’s author thought actual observational evidence would support his claim.

“The insurance industry scientist Robert-Muir Wood of Risk Management Solutions had smuggled the graph into the IPCC report,” climate researcher Roger Pielke, Jr. wrote in a recent oped. “He explained in a public debate with me in London in 2010 that he had included the graph and misreferenced it because he expected future research to show a relationship between increasing disaster costs and rising temperatures.”

“When his research was eventually published in 2008, well after the IPCC report, it concluded the opposite,” Pielke wrote.

What About Global Greening And The Arctic?

While Gore predicted in his film the Arctic could be free of sea ice “within the next 50 to 70 years,” the former vice president later predicted in 2008 there’d be no Arctic ice by 2013.

There’s still ice. Arctic ice coverage has shrunk in recent decades, but it’s not likely we will see even a summer where the North Pole is completely ice-free.

Gore’s first film also left out a phenomenon that gets little attention from scientists, but which could bring big benefits to mankind — global greening.

The basic idea is that increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide will act as a greenhouse and increase the efficiency of plants and other vegetation. Satellites already show a substantial increase in global vegetation.

In other words, even the deserts are greening.

A study published in the journal Nature by a team of 32 scientists from 24 countries found “a persistent and widespread increase of growing season integrated [greening] over 25% to 50% of the global vegetated area” with less than “4% of the globe shows [browning].”

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